Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Vintage Wednesday

Last weekend Pops (my dad) and I went to the Yanks
and Planes of Fame air museums here in Chino. If you
ever have the opportunity go check them out, you won't
be disappointed. You should go as soon as you can if you've
ever wanted to meet a couple of genuine WWII pilots. They
are there to talk about their adventures and pose for
pictures. It's sad to think that someday all these hero's
will be gone. I could listen to those guys forever.

Although I saw many vintage planes and jets the highlight
of the day for me was seeing a plane that brought me back to my
childhood, a 100% restored and flyable Fokker DR-1. When
I was a kid that was always my favorite plane. I used to
draw pictures and build models of them.

This is the Fokker DR-1 in the Planes of Fame

The FOKKER Triplane

Known as one of the best dogfighters of WWI, the Fokker Dr 1 was an extremely successful plane. It was a terrible plane in the hand of an inexperienced pilot, but with an experienced pilot it was an almost unstoppable dogfighter.

One pilot that made the Fokker Dr 1 very successful was 'Richoften, Manfred Albrecht, Rittmeister Freiherr von' or commonly known as the 'Red Baron'. He had 80 confirmed victories, which made him the most successful pilot in World War 1. He was also the leader of the Flying Circus or Jasta 11, (a squadron during World War One that shot down more than 300 allied planes).

He was killed in his Fokker Dr 1 whilst chasing a novice pilot fairly low to the ground. The fatal single shot in the heart, from below, was fired by Australian machine gunners or by other ground troops. The Red Baron said the Fokker Dr 1 "Climbed like a monkey and maneuvered like the devil.

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